Group Lease eyes Laos, Vietnam markets

Group Lease eyes Laos, Vietnam markets

Group Lease Plc (GL), the SET-listed motorcycle leasing firm, is planning to expand into Laos and Vietnam next year after a successful move into Cambodia last year.

GL aims to finance up to 1 million motorcycles by 2015, of which 35% will be in Thailand and the rest in other Asean countries.

Mitsuji Konoshita, the chairman and chief executive, said both Laos and Vietnam are promising markets, while the company plans to launch its business in Indonesia before the inauguration of the Asean Economic Community in 2016.

The company projects to lease 10,000 more motorcycles per month this year, taking the number in its portfolio to 260,000 from 140,000 last year.

GL has operated in Cambodia for a year and built up a portfolio of 2,000 leased motorcycles without any non-performing loans thanks to a prudent approach in a new market.

With vast room to grow in Cambodia, GL aims to increase its branches there from 11 to 36 through a partnership with Honda. The company's market share in Cambodia is expected to jump to 45% from 15% after the branch expansion, said Mr Konoshita.

Meanwhile, GL is to pay cash and stock dividends to shareholders and hold a 10-for-1 stock split to boost its share-trading liquidity.

The company will pay a cash dividend of one baht per share for the first nine months plus a stock dividend at a ratio of five held shares for a new dividend stock at five baht par value. The dividend stock is paid for full-year earnings.GL plans to split its par value to 50 satang from five baht at present.

The company last year recorded a 66% jump in net profit to 357 million baht, up from 215.08 million in 2011.

Shares of GL closed yesterday on the SET at 88.75 baht, up 1.75 baht, in trade worth 102 million baht.

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